Mourn not yet the death of bookshops and literature—a Norwegian writer, now living in Sweden, is a surprising, relieving phenomenon that is sweeping the world: The Outlook

Karl Ove KnausgaardRecently, Karl Ove Knausgaard was doing a question and answer session at McNally Jackson, a popular bookshop in downtown Manhattan. The free event was scheduled to begin at 7PM but by 4PM, the line to get in was already starting to form outside the bookshop. The space quickly filled up and several people were turned away from the event. While many are busy bemoaning the death of bookshops and literature, Knausgaard is a surprising, relieving phenomenon that is sweeping the world.

Lee Siegel in The New Yorker

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHThese days, the conventions of art seem quaint and tidy. Zadie Smith, borrowing the phrase from the novelist David Shields, has written about her “novel-nausea,” an impatience with literary artifice. Her frustration is shared by novelists from Tim Parks to Naipaul, Roth, and Munro, the last three of whom have given up writing fiction altogether. (It could also be why the autobiographical novels of Karl Ove Knausgaard, which read like direct transcriptions of reality, are so popular. “Just the thought of fiction,” he writes, “just the thought of a fabricated character in a fabricated plot made me feel nauseous.”)